Eighty-three New Zealanders in Peru are being offered a chance to fly home on a Government chartered flight.

Following the spread of the Covid-19 virus, many Kiwis had been stranded in South America.

Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced this afternoon the Government would be chartering a flight to bring them home.

"Like many travellers around the world at the moment, New Zealanders in Peru have faced the extraordinarily difficult task of getting home with no commercial flights, and no transit options," Peters said in a statement.


Elsewhere, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said 11 Kiwis stuck in the Tyrol region of Austria would also be flown home, and efforts were underway to help the three Kiwis who were still stuck there.

There were 83 Kiwis registered in Peru, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade told the Herald on Monday night.

Passengers would be required to buy their own ticket, with Mfat reporting the cost would be similar to that of commercial flights from Peru.

A one-way ticket from Peru to Auckland with two stops would cost $1677.52 according to Flight Centre on May 1. Meanwhile, a one-stop flight would cost $2927.22.

If passengers could not afford the price, options would be assessed and arrangements worked out on a case-by-case basis.

"New Zealanders in Peru and Chile have been sent information about the flight," Mfat said.

"They should complete a form and email Viva Expeditions at info@vivaexpeditions.com.

"Alternatively they can phone Viva Expeditions on 0800 131 900 if within New Zealand or on +64 9 950 5918 for those abroad."


An agreement has been struck with the Peruvian and Chilean governments to allow the necessary transit through Chile for New Zealanders to fly home from Peru, Peters said.

"On 24 March, we advised New Zealanders overseas that they should shelter safely in place if they could not return to New Zealand commercially.

"However, New Zealanders in Peru are finding it increasingly difficult to shelter safely in place given the complexities of the situation in-country."

Peters has previously warned New Zealanders to come home as quickly as possible as countries' borders closed up and international flights dried up.

Air NZ has already been asked to fly German nationals stranded in New Zealand back to Germany, and its first repatriation flight departed Auckland for Frankfurt via Vancouver on Saturday.

Further repatriation flights using the airline's 342-seat 777-300 aircraft will depart to Germany from Auckland and Christchurch airports.

Last month New Zealanders, joined by some Australians, were evacuated from the coronavirus ground-zero city of Wuhan in China on a special Air New Zealand flight co-ordinated with the New Zealand Government.

And six New Zealanders joined 165 Australians as they were evacuated from the coronavirus-infected Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan on an Australian Government-chartered Qantas flight.

While some Air NZ international flights have continued despite the Covid-19 crisis, Ardern has said in recent days it has been increasingly difficult to see a path home for Kiwis offshore.

Peters said that has been an issue the world over.

"Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials continue to provide support for more than 22,000 New Zealanders registered on SafeTravel.

"The Government is committed to helping New Zealanders overseas where it can. However, in these unprecedented times, Government-assisted departure flights cannot be relied upon to get home.

"Our message continues to be that where New Zealanders have the option of travelling commercially to get to New Zealand they should seriously pursue that, or shelter in place."

The flight will depart from Lima, with an added domestic connection from Cusco, in Peru.

Private tour operators Viva Expeditions and Chimu Adventures will provide assistance to New Zealanders on the ground in Peru, helping transport New Zealanders to the appropriate pickup points.

Officials are working on remaining operational requirements, including the exact departure date.

New Zealanders in Peru who are registered on SafeTravel will be emailed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade with details of how to register interest in the flight. New Zealanders in Chile who are registered on SafeTravel will be emailed separately.

All passengers will be required to comply with health screening and have an isolation plan in place, on arrival, in line with Ministry of Health requirements.